The Apple Of This Camera's Eye Is Bruised

One bad apple really can spoil the whole barrel. But a prototype computer-vision system from Cornell University can pick it out and send it off to be made into cider or applesauce before it makes the other apples rot. The Cornell system uses a video camera to measure how apples reflect scattered invisible light of near-infrared wavelengths. "The apple's surface is like a mirror," says research support specialist James Throop, but bruised spots absorb more light. "If cells are broken or disrupted, fluid is released, and less light is reflected back," he says.

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